Get out the confetti and cake, for I…… HAVE COMPLETED NANOWRIMO!
No doubt news of my stunning victory- the most significant cultural event of the 21st century- has already reached you, seeing as how it is currently the front-page story of every newspaper on Earth. Time magazine promptly scrapped their person of the year plans when they got wind of the achievement, and NaNoWriMo itself will henceforth be re-branded NaRoApMo (National Ronan Appreciation Month). Similarly, Movember will now be known as Rovember and it will be relaunched as an event in which people attempt in vain to be as great as I am.
I’d like to thank my cat Marvin, who assisted me by lying on my keyboard and head-butting my mouse when I was trying to write.
So all joking aside, The Journey is now complete, in the sense that I’ve written 50,000 words of a story which is far from over. I’m not going to stop writing until I reach the end, but as I’ve passed the arbitrarily set NaNo goal I think this might be a good time to give my summary of what the experience has been like- a “review” of NaNoWriMo, if you will.
In my first post I went into this with a rather negative attitude and while I still maintain that the culture that’s grown up around NaNoWriMo is absolutely toxic and actively discourages good writing or improvement, when it comes to the basic idea itself I honestly think I was wrong (an uninformed outsider’s opinion is contradicted by first-hand experience, who’d have thought). I wrote 50,000 words of a story in twelve days, which is way more productive- way, way more- than I’ve ever been at any creative pursuit, ever. If you had told me a month ago that I was capable of writing that fast I’d have laughed at you. I had a blast doing at, and at no point felt frustrated or stuck. I feel excited and motivated about finished this story and editing it and re-writing so it can be the best I can make it, and I have ideas for other stories that I feel just as motivated to write.
Now, when I started I thought the trade-off for motivation was going to be quality, and that anything I wrote during NaNoWriMo would be significantly worse than if I had been taking my time. I’ll have to give it a little distance to be able to look at those 50,000 words in a more objective light but honestly, I don’t think they’re any worse than anything I’ve written before. They might actually be better in places.
If I’m going to give a recommendation on NaNoWriMo what I’d say is that, in the very specific set of circumstances I found myself in (having a lot of free time, for example) it really provided a massive source of motivation to keep writing, but I don’t know if that’s going to hold true for everyone. And I guess the real test is whether I actually keep writing regularly after this.
Only one way to find out!